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What to do in bad weather on Lake Como?

Bad weather Lake Como tips
Bad weather on Lake Como? Here are 7 tips (Photo: Elliott Brown - Flickr)

O no! There you are, at beautiful Lake Como and the weather is gray and it rains. Yes, this can also happen in Italy, especially in the mountainous surroundings of the Great Lakes. With a bit of luck you will soon be able to enjoy the beautiful colors of the lake with a sun, but of course you can't wait for that during your precious vacation days. So what to do when it rains on Lake Como? Here are some smart tips for bad weather.

In the rain on Lake Como…

In the rain on Lake Como (image: Midjourney)

Summer showers are frequent in the continental climate around Lake Como. It often rains heavily with thunderstorms, but after a few hours it is often over and the sun peeps through the clouds again.

If you only have a few days at the lake, of course you want to use your time well. Even during a rainy morning or afternoon. That's why we have a few tips for rainy weather during your stay on Lake Como.

1. Visit one or more of the many churches and cathedrals in the area

The Cathedral of Como (photo: Giovanni – Flickr)

It is full of churches and cathedrals in and around Como and the other places on Lake Como. If you are an enthusiast, visit the Duomo, the Basilica di San Fedele and the Basilica di Sant'Abbondio in Como, the Chiesa di S. Stefano in Menaggio and the Chiesa SS Trinita in Argegno and the Chiesa dei Santi Nazaro e Celso in Bellano and the Basilica of San Giacomo in Bellagio.

2. Admire the villas

Here in the sun, but also beautiful during rain: Villa La Gaeta (photo: Wikimedia)

The shores of Lake Como are lined with famous villas, some of which are open to the public. Visit for example Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo or Villa del Balbianello in Lenno or Villa La Gaeta in San Siro. Do find out in advance whether the villa is open. Is the sun breaking through? Then there is often a beautifully landscaped garden to stroll through.

3. Day in Como

In Como city you can have fun on a rainy day (photo: Unsplash)

If you're on Lake Como on a rainy day and you don't want to go too far, just go into Como. Not only can you visit churches and museums here, you can also shop well here or visit the Teatro Sociale. Go somewhere for a nice bite to eat or visit one of the villas. You really enjoy yourself here with rain.

A rainy day in Como (photo: Edward Hendriks)

4. Go shopping at an outlet center

There are several options for great shopping around Lake Como. Fox Town near Lugano offers a lot of shopping fun. At Como you will also find the Canepa Outlet and SOLDOUT Milano and then there are also outlets of Armani and Levi's nearby.

If you want more atmosphere, you can of course also visit the shops in the pleasant centers of the towns around Lake Como, such as Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna. Yes, the pictures are a little less beautiful, but the pizza tastes just as good!

5. Go hiking in the hills around Lake Como

You can walk well in the hills around Lake Como, even with less weather (photo: Edward Hendriks)

Are you a sporty type? Then you probably won't mind getting a little wet with the right clothes. A cooler, rainy day is actually perfect for a hike in the hills around the lake.

Highly recommended is the Greenway del Lago di Como, which runs along the western shore of Lake Como, from Colonno to Griante. You can walk the route of about 10 km in one or more stages. The route does not require any special skills or excellent fitness. There are only a few steep parts, so children and the elderly can walk the route just as well. Ideal for a rainy day, because even then the views of the lake are spectacular.

Sala Comacina, one of the villages on the Greenway del Lago di Como
Sala Comacina, one of the villages on the Greenway del Lago di Como (photos: Edward Hendriks)

You will also find numerous hiking trails off the beaten track for both novice and advanced hikers. Routes of different distances are indicated with signs everywhere. To be on the safe side, make sure you have a good hiking map.

6. Take a bike ride around the lake

If you are more of a cyclist than a walker, you can have a lot of fun even on a rainy day. The rain should not come pouring down from the sky, but a little drizzly weather is no problem.

You can cycle all the way around the lake and enjoy fantastic views, shops and restaurants. The route is largely flat, so it is also suitable for less experienced cyclists.

Cycle path from Menaggio to Porlezza (Source: OpenStreetMap)

There is also a nice cycle path from Menaggio to the Lake Lugano, about an old railway that is easy to do.

Not in the mood for cycling? Then you can always get in the car and enjoy the road around the lake that takes you past all kinds of villages, villas and gardens.

7. Take the funicular from Como to Brunate

You don't necessarily need good weather for the ride on the funicular (funicolare) from Como to Brunate. For a few euros you can park the car on the road just past the entrance to the cable car, which has been in operation since 1894.

The view from Brunate, located at an altitude of 715 meters (photo: Edward Hendriks)

With the train you go up 6,5 meters in 500 minutes to the charming village of Brunate. From there you have a majestic view over the lake, which is impressive even on gray days. On top of the mountain you can also visit the lighthouse of Alessandro Volta, have a drink at a bar or have a bite to eat in a restaurant.

A return ticket costs just over 6 euros, there are reduced rates for children up to 12 years of around € 3,50. You can also choose to only take the cable car the way there and walk the other route.

8. Take a day trip to Milan

The Duomo of Milan (photo: Edward Hendriks)

An excellent idea for a rainy day on Lake Como: take a day trip to Milan. From Colico you travel in one and a half hours by train to the heart of the city center and get off in front of the Duomo of Milan.

Will the weather stay a little longer? Then book a hotel stay and travel back to your holiday accommodation on Lake Como the next day at your leisure. There is so much to see and do in Milan that you can easily spend a long weekend here. Take a well-filled wallet with you if you like shopping!

Do you have any other tips for bad weather on Lake Como (that you may also be able to use in other places in Italy)? Please leave a comment below this article.

Written by This Is Italy

Benvenuto su This is Italy! This is Italy is a web magazine aimed at lovers of the country. We are too. We have been coming to Italy several times a year for almost 25 years to enjoy la dolce vita, good food, the Italian language and 'made in Italy'. On you will find Italy news, fun stories, facts, tips, recipes, travel tips, must-sees and everything more about Italy. Your Italy tips are also welcome!


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